Lifework and Legacy: Reviewing Iona and Peter Opie’s Contribution to the Study of Play

International Journal of Play: Call for papers for forthcoming Special Issue Lifework and Legacy: Reviewing Iona and Peter Opie’s Contribution to the Study of Play

The work of Iona (1923– ) and Peter Opie (1918–1982) on the play and games of school-aged children will be familiar to many who study the social and cultural aspects of children’s lives.

Working as independent and unfunded scholars, the Opies published five books on this topic: The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959), Children’s Games in Street and Playground (1969), The Singing Game (1985), Children’s Games with Things (1997), and Iona Opie’s solo volume, The People in the Playground (1993). Distilled from data collected principally from schoolchildren during the period 1950–80 (now held at the British Library Sound Archive, the Folklore Society Archives, and the Bodleian Libraries), as well as pioneering historical research, these publications have been widely read and extremely influential.

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